Ima Robot

Ima Robot

by Ima Robot


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Ima Robot

As nu-metal and the last vestiges of grunge have waned, the popular embrace of "real" or "garage" rock has caused an uptick of ultrafashionable musicians who artfully subtract the more inaccessible parts of genres like slutty punk rock, fey new wave, and goth, and use the highly brand-identifiable remainder to spruce up what are essentially hooky pop songs. Hot Hot Heat and Yeah Yeah Yeahs have each performed this operation with skill; now, Ima Robot wants a piece of the action. The quintet is led by the histrionic yelp of Alex Ebert, who sounds like Suede's Brett Anderson doing a Johnny Rotten impersonation and sports a bizarre haircut suggestive of Zan from the Wonder Twins. Besides a guitarist and electronicist, the band also includes bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen and drummer Joey Waronker, two session pros who are also veterans of Beck's band. The L.A. force is strong in these guys, and it shows in the refined, curiously vapid quality of their music. "Dynomite," "Song, No. 1," and "Alive" are the first three songs on the album, but they're also the most representative (barring the cheeky, effete rap of "Black Jettas"). The songs can be called so much -- glammy punk, the Escape Club meets Love and Rockets -- but when the makeup comes off they're just well-done pop songs, as much sticky fun as a fruit roll-up, but unfortunately just as substantive. Ima Robot -- especially the lyrically and visually outrageous Ebert -- seem to understand this. It seems to be part of the fun to reference the right references while rocking the cheap seats with easy power chords ("A Is for Action") and mashups of Bowie and electro-pop ("Philosophee"). And maybe it is fun, depending on your point of view. After all, many of the groups Ima Robot pays tribute to were equally as empty. But Ima Robot's fancy, yet expensively dirty version of this game just seems particularly affected, and ultimately too derivative to fully enjoy.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/2003
Label: Virgin Records Us
UPC: 0724354379802
catalogNumber: 43798
Rank: 75172

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ima Robot   Primary Artist
Joey Waronker   Percussion,Background Vocals
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass,Background Vocals
Alex Ebert   Vocals
Oliver Goldstein   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Timmy Anderson   Guitar,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Joey Waronker   Programming
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Programming
Ryan Williams   Engineer
Josh Abraham   Producer
Ima Robot   Composer,Producer
Alex Ebert   Composer
Oliver Goldstein   Programming
Timmy Anderson   Programming

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